It started on 6 July 2005, and now after just over 7 years of waiting, the Olympics is finally upon us this week! Up and down the country people have greeted the Olympic torch with great enthusiasm. On Friday the torch will complete its tour and spark the start of London 2012. So what are we to expect from London’s 3rd Olympic Games?
Anyone who saw the opening ceremony in Beijing 4 years ago would have been wowed. London’s efforts should be similarly spectacular, with artistic director Danny Boyle and his team working wonders to show off the best of our country to the world. The climax of the occasion will be the lighting of the cauldron to herald the start of the Games. Definitely one not to miss and definitely one to expect something magnificent.
…expect the unlikely heroes…
The Olympics always creates iconic heroes, whether it is Sir Steve Redgrave in Sydney 2000 or Usain Bolt last time round in China. Expect there to be a similar icon of these games, and one decent bet could be Jessica Ennis. She seems to have appeared on nearly every Olympic advertisement in the build up to the games, so let’s hope that this expectation is justified. But also expect the unlikely heroes- in Beijing, who would have predicted Rebecca Adlington to win gold in the pool after Team GB’s long lack of swimming success? Somewhere amongst the many competitors is a star waiting to emerge.
The host nation always performs well at its own Olympics, and perhaps the best example of this is Barcelona 1992 where Spain won more gold medals than it had ever done previously. Team GB is looking strong. The cyclists, inspired by Bradley Wiggins’ recent triumph in the Tour de France, might even be stronger than the all-conquering Beijing contingent. You can almost always count on Ben Ainslie to pick up a gold medal nowadays, and our traditional strong suit of rowing still looks as strong as ever. The success of the games will depend a lot on how the host nation performs, but Team GB is as strong as it could ever be and expectation should be high for a top-4 finish in the medals table.
…glory of winning…
Sometimes, the Olympics can simply produce sporting excellence of the highest order- Bolt’s superhuman 100m performance in 2008 will long be remembered. London 2012 should be no different, both from Bolt and from any competitor who has what it takes to perform on the highest stage. For all that the Games is about taking part, it is also about the glory of winning and the exulting of sporting excellence- expect much of this to come in the next few weeks.
For all the positive expectations, lets also remember that yes, this is London, and we can expect the transport system to fail embarrassingly at least once! But, the overriding expectation should be of 3 weeks of the best of world sport all being performed in our splendid country. Bring it on!